CPT Statement on Cipla's Request for South Africa to Issue Compulsory Liceses for Eight HIV/AIDS Drugs

The South Africa government should quickly approve the CIPLA request for compulsory licenses to patents under section 56 of the South Africa patents act. The basis for the approval is as stated in the request, to increase competition and drive down prices for antiretrovials in South Africa, where more than 98 percent of HIV infected persons do not have access to medicines. Moreover, we call upon the South Africa government to issue additional compulsory licenses to Ranbaxy, Hetero Drugs Ltd. and generic producers from South Africa, Brazil, Thailand, Canada and other countries.

Any delay in issuance of compulsory licenses will harm the health of South Africa AIDS patients.

The South Africa PMA has spent the past two weeks stating the South Africa government should issue compulsory licenses to patents on HIV drugs under the provisions of the existing South Africa patents act. While the PMA said this to undermine the South Africa government's use of 15c in the Medicines Act, it is also true that the government has a legal way to issue the licenses. Now that there is request for a compulsory license, the government should act quickly, this is an urgent matter.

For comment

James Love

Robert Weissman

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